Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Long flights and age affect oxidative status of homing pigeons (Columba livia)


Costantini, D; Dell'Ariccia, G; Lipp, H P (2008). Long flights and age affect oxidative status of homing pigeons (Columba livia). Journal of Experimental Biology, 211(Pt 3):377-381 .

Abstract

Flying is an energy demanding activity that imposes several physiological challenges on birds, such as increase in energy expenditure. Evidence from sports medicine shows that exhausting exercise may cause oxidative stress. Studies on avian flight have so far considered several blood parameters, such as uric acid, corticosteroids, or circulating free fatty acids, but only one study has analysed markers of oxidative stress in flying birds. In this study, we evaluated, for the first time, how different flight efforts affect the oxidative status using homing pigeons (Columba livia) as a model species. Two groups of pigeons flew for around 60 and 200 km, respectively. Pigeons that flew for 200 km had a 54% increase in oxidative damage as measured by serum reactive oxygen metabolites (ROMs), a 19% drop in total serum antioxidant capacity (OXY) and an 86% increase of oxidative stress (ROMs/OXYx1000). Older pigeons depleted more serum antioxidants regardless of the release distance. Among pigeons that flew the longer distance, heavier ones depleted less serum antioxidants. The results of the study suggest that long flights may cause oxidative stress, and that older individuals may experience higher physiological demands.

Abstract

Flying is an energy demanding activity that imposes several physiological challenges on birds, such as increase in energy expenditure. Evidence from sports medicine shows that exhausting exercise may cause oxidative stress. Studies on avian flight have so far considered several blood parameters, such as uric acid, corticosteroids, or circulating free fatty acids, but only one study has analysed markers of oxidative stress in flying birds. In this study, we evaluated, for the first time, how different flight efforts affect the oxidative status using homing pigeons (Columba livia) as a model species. Two groups of pigeons flew for around 60 and 200 km, respectively. Pigeons that flew for 200 km had a 54% increase in oxidative damage as measured by serum reactive oxygen metabolites (ROMs), a 19% drop in total serum antioxidant capacity (OXY) and an 86% increase of oxidative stress (ROMs/OXYx1000). Older pigeons depleted more serum antioxidants regardless of the release distance. Among pigeons that flew the longer distance, heavier ones depleted less serum antioxidants. The results of the study suggest that long flights may cause oxidative stress, and that older individuals may experience higher physiological demands.

Statistics

Citations

69 citations in Web of Science®
73 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

79 downloads since deposited on 14 Dec 2009
20 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Anatomy
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:14 Dec 2009 16:28
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:37
Publisher:Company of Biologists
ISSN:0022-0949
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.012856
PubMed ID:18203993

Download

Download PDF  'Long flights and age affect oxidative status of homing pigeons (Columba livia)'.
Preview
Filetype: PDF
Size: 1MB
View at publisher